Sitting in the Bleachers with Back Pain

Last night I was sitting in Little League Baseball – it’s bleacher season as I like to call it – and someone sitting behind me said, “Oh my gosh, my back  is killing me sitting in these bleachers.”

She ended up standing up and walking and standing over on the side for some time. She asked me some questions a little later, and I told her that was something that we we help people with, and we’re able to start a conversation about it.

It led me to think, it’s that season. I watched her at the end of the game, at how she was sitting, and I looked around and how everyone was sitting. It’s that time of year when people are going to watch their kids.

They’re sitting in the bleachers pretty poorly. Now they also sit at a football game over the weekend for three or four hours. Sitting in the bleachers there, I saw it as well, but I actually heard it right behind me from a woman, whose kid’s on my team, about her back pain.

I just want to say that when you’re sitting in those bleachers, one of the best things to avoid on the little league game. There’s a spot for your feet to go and then there’s the bleacher in front of you that people would sit on.

Don’t put your feet up on that bleacher where the people would sit. Put your feet down on the bottom where you would normally put them, as if someone was sitting in front of you.

Let me say it that way, because as soon as you put your feet up on where someone would sit, it brings your knees way up towards your chest. Then you end up leaning way forward and end up arching your back even more.

I say arching your back even more, because most of the people sitting in those bleachers are sitting there swaying their back or arching their back in an attempt to find a position of comfort, but they’re actually in the position that I try to teach people to avoid.

With that said, another tip to think about when you’re sitting is to keep both feet on the floor. Keep both feet on the ground and push gently into your heels.

As soon as you cross one leg over the other, or put one foot under your rear end, as soon as you do something in that manner, you  lose the proper mechanics of what we’re trying to accomplish.

These are just some things and some tips to think about.

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Stephen Dunn

Co-Owner / Physical Therapist at CORE Therapy and Pilates
Stephen graduated with a Masters in Physical Therapy in 1998 from LSUMC in New Orleans. Immediately interested in hands on therapy, he began to study with known manual therapist Brian Mulligan and became certified in the Maitland Australian Approach in 2003. Stephen completed a comprehensive Pilates training in Santa Monica at retroFit Pilates in 2002 and is Certified through The Pilates Method Alliance. The combined treatment of manual therapy with mind body awareness exercises using Pilates concepts was the start of his whole body treatment approach.
Stephen Dunn

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